UPDATE (12/8/13): YOU GUYS ARE THE BOMB AND THANKS TO YOU GUYS BEING AWESOME, WE'VE SURPASSED OUR GOAL WITH 65 HOUR REMAINING! AND FOR THAT, WE LEAVE YOU WITH THIS:
CARE TO EXPLAIN, BLAKE AND MELISSA?
"Billy Boy" is an extremely personal story for me and as I was writing it, I was coming up with several options for how to get this film made. Going through the process, however, I realized that signing a typical financing deal in order to get the movie produced would have required a lot of compromises that, I think, would have taken away from the film's rawness and integrity. Earlier this year, I saw the record-breaking crowd-funding that took place for the "Veronica Mars" film and Zach Braff's "Wish I Was Here" and I couldn't help but think that I could take a story that is so personal to me and share it with all of you guys on more levels than one. This way, we could maintain the right to our own "final cut," cast the people who we think are right for certain roles and make the film we want to make. It's daunting, but we're excited and would love to have you guys join us in this journey.
WHAT'S THE STORY?
Like so many teens today, 18-year old Billy Forsetti's potential has been crushed by the cards that life has dealt him. Coming from a broken home, his life consists of going to school, barely, and hanging out with his three best friends. For the past several years, the four buddies have been up to no good and now, their old ways have crossed over to the point of no return. After a night of partying, Billy meets a young waitress, Jennifer, who begins to lead him on a path to redemption. She shows Billy that there is hope and he begins to get in touch with his potential. Unfortunately, Billy is in too deep and after a series of unfortunate events, Billy finds himself struggling to take back control of his life. "Billy Boy" is a story of a young man's pursuit of redemption of self-discovery. The movie focuses on a teen who was born into the wrong life. Like so many of the youth of today, the film represents those who struggle to better themselves in spite of extreme obstacles. "Billy Boy" is a truly emotional piece and an actor's tour de force. It's my story and hopefully, it will be a story we can share in together.
I believe that the soundtrack to any film or a television show is vital in providing an additional backdrop to the story. It adds color to the world and the same can be said for the soundtrack for "Billy Boy"—all songs were selected by Melissa and I, personally, and we believe that they only add to the character and beauty of the film. If you back this film, you can be one of the first to stream the soundtrack and experience the world of "Billy Boy" beforehand. For legal reasons, we can't post any of the songs just yet, but here is a sample of a song that is representative of the overall mood of the soundtrack. We're super-excited to have some of our favorite artists and songs be on the soundtrack. Did you know that we love music, by the way?
Here's a preview: "Rivers" by Bipolar Sunshine
PRE-VISUALIZATION & STORYBOARDS
We are so fortunate to be working with Matthew Meadows, a storyboard artist who is known for his work in movies such as "Kick Ass" and numerous other works on television and film, as well as other notable artists such as Paul McCartney, The Cure, etc. With his collaboration, we are able to establish the look and tone of the locations and characters before going into production. "Billy Boy" has a lot of unique faces and graphic scenes, so it was important to have someone on board to help us bring the story of "Billy Boy" to life in a very specific way. With Matthew's collaboration, we were able to come up with storyboards in order to help us visualize the tone and passion of the film.
WHY KICKSTARTER, YOU ASK?
We want you to be our financiers and audience so we can make a movie for you, by you, with absolutely no compromises whatsoever. Yes, we might fail and come short of our goal, but we believe that it's a risk worth taking.
"Final Cut" is the industry term for who has the final say on how a movie will be edited. A lot of traditional financing deals require that the final cut go to the money people, not the director. Most films are tested in front of "test audiences" to see how an audience likes what you've made. Admittedly, sometimes, this is very helpful, as you can get a sense of when the pace is too slow or when certain things need to be cut, added, etc. However, it can also water down the film, as certain changes must be made in opposition to the filmmaker's original vision. Because this story is so personal to us and one that we believe in, we want to see what we envisioned, not something that has been chopped up and remade into a film we can't fully stand by.
By being financially tied to a traditional production company, you are typically given a list of actors that they want to approach for various roles within a given film. Yes, most of these actors are great, but a filmmaker and/or writer may not be able to see the actors that they have in mind to play those parts. Basically, it's a lot of politics. However, by being financed by you guys, we have the opportunity to work with the casting director of our choice, ensuring that the actors that fit the absolute best will play the parts. Thankfully, we have access to a network of casting directors who share a vision of the film and will be able to bring these "AAAHHHHHHHHH" (you get it) roles to life through their impeccable casting.
Our first choice for shooting is Los Angeles, mainly because we have connections to most of our major locations. In addition, we've established an amazing support network of crew, friends and family in Los Angeles that will do everything in their power to see this film through the finish line, as well as immediate access to "name actors" with whom we have connections. There will be a 2-day location shoot in Detroit to add a sense of authenticity to the film (we will also receive many tax benefits for shooting in Detroit).
FINAL NOTES (BUT NOT REALLY)
We know this is a lot of information. The number of our goal is daunting enough to make us nervous. However, we believe in this film and we believe in you guys. We, undoubtedly, have the most passionate, loyal and amazing fans and we would love for you to join us in this film-making process. To become one of our backers, just click on the big green button to the right of our video. Kickstarter will ask you for your pledge, which reward you'd like, and how you want to sign up. It takes just a minute and we'd appreciate it greatly. Regardless of how much you pledge to donate to this Kickstarter or whether we reach our goal or not, we want to thank each and every single one of you guys. This is a dream-come-true for the both of us and we would have it no other way than to share this experience wholly with all of you.
Risks and challenges
Distribution of "Billy Boy" has proven to be one of the biggest challenges the film has faced. The entire "Billy Boy" team are working hard to do this ourselves. However, there have been numerous films that have proven to be incredibly successful, both commercially and critically, without a distributor, so the film can be made without any artistic compromises.
Our goal is to debut "Billy Boy" at film festivals such as Sundance, Cannes, Tribeca, Slamdance and South by Southwest. If you fund this project, we intend to start pre-production immediately, begin shooting in late-May/early-June of 2014, and finish the film in time to submit "Billy Boy" to the aforementioned festivals.
Many of the physical perks (e.g. t-shirts, posters, soundtrack, etc) that you will receive for helping us carry out the vision of this film will be fulfilled gradually, starting from the production of the film till after its premiere. For those of you who are attending our screening or joining us on set, we will do our best to keep you updated periodically on our schedule.
THE FINE PRINT
For those of you visiting our set or joining us as an extra or member of the cast, we anticipate shooting in late-May/early-June to August in Los Angeles, but this has the potential to change. However, we will keep you updated so you can plan well in advance to visit us.
If you become an extra or receive a cast credit, you must be a US citizen, permanent resident or have a US work visa, and not be a member of SAG/AFTRA.
You must be over 18 or accompanied by a parent or legal guardian (who will count as your plus one) to attend the premiere or visit the set. However, extras must also be over 18 (or legal 18).
The content of the voice and video messages are at your direction, but at my discretion. Both Melissa and I reserve the right to refuse to say or do what you request if we find it inappropriate. That said, we aren't super-conservative people, so don't be afraid. Believe me, we'll say anything within reason.
Some rewards may require additional paperwork. If you are appearing in the film, you will have to sign a release. Also, if you are visiting the set, you will need to sign a non-disclosure agreement.
All shooting locations are subject to change for a variety of reasons, including the amount of money we are able to raise and the particular locations giving us the right to shoot. We plan on shooting a part of the film in Detroit, but that is also subject to change.
This fundraising campaign is all subject to applicable Kickstarter rules/regulations, including the amount of money we are able to raise and the particular locations giving us the right to shoot.
**Associate Producer credits do not qualify for any financial compensation based on the success of the film.
We know all of the legal terminology and overload of information is… a lot, but that just goes to show you how insane the process of making a film really is. We could sit here and plan, but ultimately, anything can happen. However, we are in the process of assembling the best team possible and we assure you that, in the end, we will have created a film that hopefully all of us can be proud of and stand by. It will be insane, but we couldn't be more excited—and we thank you in advance if you can help to make our dreams come true with "Billy Boy". Thank you. THANK YOU.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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